BROKEN SILENCE

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BROKEN SILENCE

Matthew 9:32-34
As they (2 no-longer blind men) were leaving, some people brought a man to Jesus. The man was unable to talk because he was possessed by a demon. But as soon as the demon was forced out, the man began to speak. The crowds were amazed and said, “We have never seen anything like this in Israel!” But the Pharisees said, “He forces demons out of people with the help of the ruler of demons.”
Between my ages of 4 and 6 my father, grandmother, sister, grandfather, and dog all died. I developed a speech impediment. Once a week for I don’t know how long I saw a therapist. The impediment is gone but it wasn’t instantaneous.

What a joyous thing it must have been for this mute man to be able to speak. I wonder what his first words were? I imagine him, with years streaming down his face, falling on his face before Jesus, thanking him and praising him over and over.

And standing nearby were the Pharisees trying to think of any excuse to deny the power of God flowing out of Jesus. I wonder what words the no-longer mute man would have for them?

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SIGHT OF THE BLIND

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MUSINGS – February 07, 2019
SIGHT OF THE BLIND

Matthew 9:27-31
When Jesus left that place, two blind men followed him. They shouted, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” Jesus went into a house, and the blind men followed him. He said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they answered. He touched their eyes and said, “What you have believed will be done for you!” Then they could see. He warned them, “Don’t let anyone know about this!” But they went out and spread the news about him throughout that region.

Jesus was leaving the house of the synagogue ruler, where he had just brought a dead girl back to life. It was done in private after sending the crowd out of the house.

However not everyone had left. At least two blind men had remained. They began to shout, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” Son of David was one out the titles of the long awaited Messiah. Though physically blind, these men had an insight that most had missed. They recognised Jesus as the true king of Israel who was come to save his people.

These Men believed that Jesus had the power to change their lives. When Jesus asked then if they believed, their answer was, “Yes, Lord,”

Lord, give us the strong beleif of these blind men, that we too might see.

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GOD DOESN’T PLAY FAVORITES

MUSINGS – February 06, 2019

GOD DOESN’T PLAY FAVORITES Matthew 9:18=22

A synagogue leader came to Jesus while he was talking to John’s disciples. He bowed down in front of Jesus and said, “My daughter just died. Come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus and his disciples got up and followed the man.

Then a woman came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of his clothes. She had been suffering from chronic bleeding for twelve years. She thought, “If I only touch his clothes, I’ll get well.” When Jesus turned and saw her he said, “Cheer up, daughter! Your faith has made you well.” At that very moment the woman became well.

Jesus was on a mission of mercy for an important man in the community. He and his disciples are making their way through the crowd who are pushing and shouting to get close to him. Imagine an open air concert where people are sitting on the standing. Think Woodstock. Suddenly the Rockstar jumps down from the stage and makes his way through the crowd. That’s as close of an analogy as I can think of for what it looked like that day.

And in the middle of this a woman touches his clothes. It wasn’t an accident. She was desperate. She had been bleeding for 12 years. For 12 years she had sought help. But nothing had helped. She made a plan. When she heard that Jesus was going to be there. She was going to get close enough to him to touch him or at least touch his clothes. She thought to herself, “If I can just touch his clothes I will be made whole.” As he approached, she threw herself to the ground, reached out and touched the edge of his robe. Jesus felt power go out of him. He looked around and when he saw her said, “Cheer up, daughter! Your faith has made you well.”

Jesus was on the way to save an important man’s daughter. But he wasn’t in such a hurry that he couldn’t show grace and mercy. God does not play favorites. (Romans 2:11) Visit my daily devotions blog Daily journal /

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PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE HAND


MUSINGS – February 05, 2019
PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE HANDMatthew 9:18-26
A synagogue leader came to Jesus while he was talking to John’s disciples. He bowed down in front of Jesus and said, “My daughter just died. Come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus and his disciples got up and followed the man.

Jesus came to the synagogue leader’s house. He saw flute players and a noisy crowd. He said to them, “Leave! The girl is not dead. She’s sleeping.” But they laughed at him. When the crowd had been put outside, Jesus went in, took her hand, and the girl came back to life. The news about this spread throughout that region. .

There is whole lot going on in this section of scrioture. To much for me to cover in one post. So I’m saving verses 20-22 for tomorrow so we can focus on the synagogue leader and his daughter.

In Mark 5:22 & Luke 8;41 we learn that the leaders name is Jairus. He was a leader in the synagogue at Capernaum. This is the city where Jesus had healed the servant of an officer in the Roman army*. So It is obvious that Jesus’s healing powers were well known in the area.

In my mind I often lump all of the religious leaders into one group. But that is incorrect. Jesus’s remarks about the scribes and Pharisees was mostly aimed at the Temple priests and leaders of the Sanhedrin. As Jesus traveled, he often taught in the town’s synagogues.

We see in these verses a man who believed in Jesus’s healing power. He bowed down, literally fell to his knees in front of Jesus. His daughter was dead but he trusted that Jesus could resurrect his child. Jesus and his disciples go to jairud’s house (after brief interruption which will cover tomorrow) where they found a large crowd of mourners.

Jesus commands then to leave because the child was sleeping, but they laughed at him. I love what happened next: the crowd was “put outside.” Jairus followed Jesus’s command and had the mourners ‘put outside’.

Once the commotion was over, Jesus took the child by the hard and she became alive. The man who laid hands on lepers, and Roman slaves*. lifted Jairus’s daughter from the dead.


*Matthew 8:5-10 .
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PATCHES

MUSINGS – February 04, 2019

PATCHES

Matthew 9:16-17
“No one patches an old coat with a new piece of cloth that will shrink. When the patch shrinks, it will rip away from the coat, and the tear will become worse. Nor do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins burst, the wine runs out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, people pour new wine into fresh skins, and both are saved.”

Sometimes, after Jesus had given a parable or analogy as an answer, he should take his disciples aside and explain its meaning. He did not do that here, and I wish he had!

John’s disciples had asked him why his disciples didn’t fast. He had answered with an analogy about a bridegroom. I understood that answer. However, he went on to say today’s scripture about patches and wineskins. While what he said made sense in the natural world, I didn’t understand how they answered the question about fasting.

So, since I was missing the spiritual meaning, I considered what his answer meant in the physical world.

  1. New cloth on an old coat. Tailors and dressmakers know that many fabrics need to be laundered before cutting and sewing. Washing the fabric causes It to shrink. Therefore, it should be preshrunk so that measurements remain accurate. Knowing that, it makes sense to not use a non-preshrunk fabric to path fabric that had already shrunk.
  2. New wine into old wineskins. Wineskins are exactly what It sounds like, a container made of skin that its used to hold wine and other liquids. As anything made of leather ages it becomes thinner and brittle. New wine is still fermenting and releasing gasses. If you pour new wine into an old wineskin the gasses would cause the skin to expand like a balloon and rupture which would destroy both the bag and the wine.

I understand Jesus was to be saying that adding new to old can be destructive. His disciples were rough men of the world, not raised in the strict religious practices of the Pharisees. To impose such strict practices as fasting on them, when they are not ready for them, would be counterproductive.

Notice that Jesus said, “The time will come when the groom will be taken away from them. Then they will fast.” (Matthew 9:15) There would come a time when his disciples lives would lose their worldly ways and would become more able to accept such spiritual practices as fasting.

This is my interpretation. If you have a different understand, please share.

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WHEN AND HOW TO FAST

MUSINGS – February 03, 2019

WHEN AND HOW TO FAST

Matthew 9:14-15
Then John’s disciples came to Jesus. They said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often but your disciples never do?” Jesus replied, “Can wedding guests be sad while the groom is still with them? The time will come when the groom will be taken away from them. Then they will fast.”

John’s students came to Jesus with a question which sounds more like an accusation. It appears to me to be brought on by jealousy.
The purpose of fasting is to humbly deny something of the flesh to glorify God, enhance our spirit, and go deeper in our prayer life. But some make a show of it and wear their fasting as a sign that reads “I’m more holy than you”.

As a parent, I would be approached by one child with a similar question. There they would stand, hands on hips and lower lip stuck out. The question was not so much why their sibling was allowed to do something, as it was, “Why can’t I?”.

Jesus responded that it was inappropriate for his disciples to fast while he was yet with them, but that a time would come when they would once again fast. He gave his followers instruction on the proper way to fast: “When you fast, stop looking sad like hypocrites. They put on sad faces to make it obvious that they’re fasting. I can guarantee this truth: That will be their only reward. When you fast, wash your face and comb your hair. Then your fasting won’t be obvious. Instead, it will be obvious to your Father who is with you in private. Your Father sees what you do in private. He will reward you.” (Matthew 6:16-18)

Why should you fast, to glorify God or to glorify self?

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OVER CHURCHED

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MUSINGS – February 02, 2019

OVER CHURCHED

Matthew 9:9-13
When Jesus was leaving that place, he saw a man sitting in a tax office. The man’s name was Matthew. Jesus said to him, “Follow me!” So Matthew got up and followed him. Later Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house. Many tax collectors and sinners came to eat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor; those who are sick do. Learn what this means: ‘I want mercy, not sacrifices.’ I’ve come to call sinners, not people who think they have God’s approval.”

The last line of this section of scripture really caught my attention. It was the words “people who think they have God’s approval” that triggered a memory of the term “Over Churched”. You know who they are and may be one, though I hope not. These are people who have grown up in the church. They attend every Sunday and have heard all the bible stories over and over. As soon as the scripture verse is read, they nod their head knowingly because they know where this sermon is headed. And that is the last word they hear until the choir sings the final song or the benediction is given.

The over churched think they have God’s approval even of they don’t. However, it is nearly impossible to introduce a new thought to their minds because their minds have slammed shut.

In Jesus’s time on earth, that was the majority of the scribes and Pharisees. They were the religious elite. Jesus knew it was easier to save those who knew that they were sinners, than to save those who thought that they already had salvation or that they didn’t need saving.

I don’t want you to look at your church roster and judge who the over churched might be. I want you to honestly look at yourself. Have you become over churched? Do you already know everything? Are you really carrying out the commandments that the Lord gave you?

(For further reading: Preaching to People Who Have “Heard it all Before” — By: J. Brian Tucker )

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